EppsNet Archive: Work

Daily Affirmation

I start my daily commute by saying “OK Google, drive to work” into my phone, and Google responds by showing me the fastest route. This morning, Google thought I said “have to work”: Read more →

Amazon Has Good News and Bad News for You on the Minimum Wage

Good News: We are raising the minimum wage for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour. Bad News: We’re replacing all of you with robots. Read more →

Company Picnic

A highly placed manager at work shows up next to me in the men’s room. “You going to the company picnic?” he shouts. He’s a boisterous guy. “Yes!” I reply. “Looking forward to taking a few throws at you in the dunk tank.” “Dunk tank?!” he says. “There’s not going to be any dunk tank.” “Oh . . . in that case I’m not going.” Read more →

Life Gets Better After 50?

About 15 years ago, economists made an unexpected finding: the U-shaped happiness curve. Other things being equal – that is, once conditions such as income, employment, health and marriage are factored out of the equation – life satisfaction declines from our early 20s until we hit our 50s. Then it turns around and rises, right through late adulthood. — The Guardian So once you factor out all the things that make life miserable, it turns out older people can be just as happy as anyone else! Read more →

Girls With Working Moms Fare Better?

Via LinkedIn: Girls who grow up with working moms are more likely to have careers themselves and to have higher paying jobs in the future, according to a report in Fortune, citing study data. The research found that, “daughters of working mothers in the U.S. make about 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers.” This article is headlined — inaccurately, in my view — Girls with working moms fare better. Shouldn’t the headline stay with the facts and say “Girls with working moms make more money” instead of “Girls with working moms fare better”? “Fare better” seems to reflect an inappropriately narrow obsession with money as the only metric for measuring life outcomes. misrepresents facts to promote an opinion, i.e., “working moms are good for society.” Read more →

Is Sustainability Sustainable?

We had a Sustainability Fair at work today . . . ironically, sustainability is a topic that I’m not able to maintain an interest in . . . Read more →

Diversity in Tech Efforts Self-Defeating?

Panelists at the Inclusion in Tech summit lamented that we can’t tell if tech is doing better on diversity because the data stinks. My advice would be don’t worry about it. A lot of the noise around diversity in technology is self-defeating. If you’re a member of an underrepresented group, all you hear is that technology fields are hostile and awful and unwelcoming, you won’t be treated fairly, etc. And you wonder why certain groups are underrepresented? You’ve answered your own question. Why would anyone who wants to have a happy life pursue a career beset by unfairness and hardship? Why not instead be a meeting planner or a flight attendant? Asians are overrepresented in technology jobs but that’s a relatively recent development in the history of these fields. I don’t remember, when this transition from underrepresented to overrepresented was happening, hearing a lot about how technology fields were hostile… Read more →

The More We Rely on Technology . . .

We had a brief network outage at the office, during which Mr. Frick walked over to Mr. Frack’s desk and said, “The network’s down. We can’t do the screen share,” i.e., they can’t see each other’s computer screen over the network because it’s down. I was waiting for one of them — Frick or Frack — to say “Let’s just sit together in front of the one computer here like they used to in olden days” but neither of them ever did . . . Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Work Hard, Play Hard

You work hard? Is that a boast? Maybe you have to work hard because you lack talent and finesse. You play hard? Are you a bad loser? Are you an even worse winner? How do those two words even go together — “play” and “hard”? Read more →

A Man Combing His Hair in Public

A man in the men’s room at work this morning pulled out a comb and started combing his hair. No, it wasn’t Edd “Kookie” Burns. I mentioned this to a couple of co-workers, neither of whom found it striking, but I haven’t seen a man comb his hair in public since Happy Days went off the air . . . Read more →

Camille Paglia on #MeToo and Damsels in Distress

The big question is whether the present wave of revelations, often consisting of unsubstantiated allegations from decades ago, will aid women’s ambitions in the long run or whether it is already creating further problems by reviving ancient stereotypes of women as hysterical, volatile and vindictive. My philosophy of equity feminism demands removal of all barriers to women’s advancement in the political and professional realms. However, I oppose special protections for women in the workplace. Treating women as more vulnerable, virtuous or credible than men is reactionary, regressive and ultimately counterproductive. Complaints to the Human Resources department after the fact are no substitute for women themselves drawing the line against offensive behavior — on the spot and in the moment. Working-class women are often so dependent on their jobs that they cannot fight back, but there is no excuse for well-educated, middle-class women to elevate career advantage or fear of social… Read more →

Some Links on Effective Communication

Busting myths on gender differences in the brain (Article) Nora Caplan-Bricker, “The Idea of a ‘Male Brain’ and a ‘Female Brain’ Is Likely a Myth,” Slate, November 2, 2015. Challenges and strategies for creating safe communication spaces at work (Article) James R. Detert and Ethan R. Burris, “Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely?,” Harvard Business Review, vol. 94, no. 1 (January/February 2016): p. 80-87. Communication comes in all shapes and sizes (Video) Nancy Lublin, “Texting That Saves Lives,” TEDvideo, 5:24, February 2012. Do men and women communicate differently? (Article) Deborah Cameron, “What Language Barrier?,” The Guardian, October 1, 2007. Find out the meaning behind emojis (Website) “Emojipedia.” Game-changing communication developments (Article) Amber Leigh Turner, “5 Trends Disrupting Communication,” TNW News. How the medium of communications can change what we say (Article) “Tweets From Mobile Devices Are More Likely to Be Egocentric,” International Communications Association press release, October 1, 2015. Leaders can change their power… Read more →

More Links on Work-Life Balance

Research behind the flexibility stigma (Article) Tara Siegel Bernard, “The Unspoken Stigma of Workplace Flexibility,” New York Times, June 14, 2013. Don’t become addicted to busy-ness (Article) Christine Carter, “Achieve More by Doing Less,” Mindful, September 14, 2015. Research about dual-centric workers (Report) Families and Work Institute, Catalyst, and the Boston College Center for Work & Family, Leaders in a Global Economy: A Study of Executive Women and Men (2008). Work-life integration (Video) Stew Friedman, “How to Integrate Work, Home, Community and Self,” YouTube video, 19:53, posted by “KnowledgeAtWharton,” May 28, 2008. Managing your life outside of work (Article) Stew Friedman, “Keep Your Home Life Sane when Work Gets Crazy,” Harvard Business Review, February 23, 2015. Research supports benefits of flex work (Article) Adi Gaskell, “Why A Flexible Worker Is A Happy And Productive Worker,” Forbes, January 15, 2016. Five simple tips to reduce the distraction and temptation of checking email all the time (Article) Lily… Read more →

Some Links on Work-Life Balance

Carol Bartz discusses the myth of work-life balance (Video) “Bartz Says ‘Work/Life’ Balance is a Myth,” Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2012. Beyond policies: Office culture must change (Article) Susan Dominus, “Rethinking the Work-Life Equation,” New York Times, February 25, 2016. The problem may be long hours not work-family conflict (Article) Robin Ely and Irene Padavic, “Work-Family Conflict is Not the Problem: Overwork Is,” Huffington Post, November 6, 2013. Managing work and life is an increasingly global problem (Report) EY, Global Generations: A Global Study on Work-Life Challenges Across Generations (2015). We know flexibility works, the challenge is execution (Article) Stew Friedman, “‘Having It All’ Is Not a Women’s Issue,” Harvard Business Review, June 26, 2012. The best way forward (Article) Gigi Liu, “From Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Integration– The New Way Forward,” Entrepreneur, March 31, 2016. When and where you work is increasingly the norm for many professionals (Article) Laura Vanderkam, “Work-life Balance is Dead —… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

Colleagues whose most conspicuous contribution to the workplace is to laugh irrepressibly at the boss’s jokes . . . Read more →

Every Form of Harassment is Okay — Except One

How did we decide that sexual harassment is the one category of workplace abuse, incidences of which require national outrage and loss of employment? Ideally, we would all have the prudence and restraint not to make sexual advances toward people over whose career we hold sway, but it happens. And yet we’ve all been harassed and ill-used in the workplace in other ways by someone more powerful, someone who negatively impacted our career by embarrassing us, intimidating us, undermining us, lying to us, lying about us, stealing the credit for our work . . . it goes on and on. Rarely do negative consequences accrue to the harasser. Steve Jobs, for example, was known for being abrasive, dismissive, shouting down colleagues, blaming others when things didn’t work out and occasionally wrapping himself in glory that rightly belonged elsewhere. Did this torpedo his career? Hardly. He’s an American icon. (In other… Read more →

Our Most Valuable Asset

The annual “People First” awards were given out at the office today. I don’t mean to be cynical but I was reminded of an old Dilbert comic . . . Read more →

Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

According to LinkedIn: Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all. Everything I read about gender discrimination in tech starts out by assuming it’s a real problem and that all reasonable people agree that it’s a real problem. Even the supposedly objective LinkedIn blurb above tells us that 29% of men “say” that discrimination is a major problem, while 32% of men “claim” that it’s not a problem at all, “despite a string of revelations blah blah blah . . .” I’ve worked in tech for 30… Read more →

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